Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Stuff

It was a dark and stormy night and we embarked on a long and winding road to get to the Newport on the Levee for the screening of the Adjustment Bureau. The pre-movie announcements scared me sufficiently to keep my phone off the whole entire time, because I really didn't want to get sent to the principal's office, and that's what was promised. So, I worried every so often that one of my children might be texting me with a really important question (Where are the paper towels?) and I would miss it. Finally, I plunged my phone deep into the recesses of my purse, covered the screen with my hand and a lens-cleaning cloth, and pressed the button which would show me if I had any texts. None! Whew!

And I sat next to a famous person, who overheard my comment about how I wouldn't have come to this if it weren't Adjustment Bureau, and he broke into our conversation and said "Me, neither!" His famousness is relative, and pretty much limited to Crossroads, but still.

And I was on my first date with the mom of my son's girlfriend. (Did you understand that?) We're about the same age and have a gosh-darn lot of stuff in common, so it was a LOT of fun.

Oh, you want to know about the movie? It was very thought-provoking, quite well done, not predictable in the slightest, and a very interesting story.Written by George Nolfi, who also wrote the Bourne Ultimatum, it's based on a short story by Philip Dick. (I just did a little internet surfing and see there is quite a body of literature by Mr. Dick. I will be checking some out at the local public libes.)

Two lines from The Big Chill are apropros for this film. One: "You just have to let art ..... flow ..... over you." and "I think the man in the hat did something terrible." (both lines were spoken by Williiam Hurt's character, the druggie, Nick.)

From the opening frames, where Damon's character, David Norris, stands inside a building waiting to go out and give a speech, to the frenetic chase near the end, doors and windows feature prominently in this movie. For me, they represented movement, choice, and faith. There was also a sense of being somewhere ("in or contained") and moving toward more freedom and openness. I loved the scenes where the characters went through doors and came out somewhere other than where you would expect. It would be like me opening the back door of my house and stepping into the Little Sahara desert. It seems to me like those who endeavor to live by faith are forever stepping through doors, not knowing exactly what they will find on the other side. It's kind of exciting and dangerous, just like I think faith is.

I'm a big Matt Damon fan. I remember being amazed at his story and his creativity in Good Will Hunting, to being blown away by The Legend of Bagger Vance, to simply enjoying the Bourne series. So, without knowing ANYTHING about this movie, when I received the invitation, I said yes to Matt Damon, basically.

Lots to think about in this movie -- does God intervene in our lives? Does He somehow change His mind based on choices I make? Is He outside time somehow so that He responds to my choices without it meaning He is changing his mind? What might it look like if I could see behind the scenes of my own life? Can something be "wrong" when every single bit of my being tells me it is "right?" How important are feelings in the scheme of things? Do I have free will?

This is a movie that needs to be watched multiple times, and I will be doing just that!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A day in the Life

About a year ago, a 17-year friendship ended by mutual decision, but her parting words to me were a prediction that I was going to have a lonely life due to my inability to be a good friend. We each had one child when we met and proceeded to have 9 more between us. I hung in there through difficult times for the sake of our kids, but finally it became apparent to both of us, in different ways and with different conclusions, that we would be better off apart than together. It took awhile to let my heart unconstrict from her criticism. And because she had pointed out my shortcomings many times, I wondered if her words might be true. A certain someone close to me assured me that her characterization of me was off-base and wrong. But I, ever the self-flaggelator, JUST IN CASE, took this loving person's words with a grain of salt. What if she was right? What if my inability to be a "good friend" as she defined it was TRUE? Would I ever have another good friend?

I am happy to say the answer is yes, yes, and more yes. I have a dear friend, Ranee, who loves me, accepts me, enjoys being with me, and for whom I do the same. She has been a rock for me --- understanding and empathizing in so many situations.

Today, I had coffee with a new friend, Suzie, and dinner with another new friend, the Incomparable Miss L. I enjoyed both of these people immensely and these connections came on a day I needed to connect with some warm and loving folks. It was actually a good day in many ways, but I was given news this evening that was difficult to hear and is going to require significant effort to get through, not just on my part, but the part of others of my family members.

I believe my ex-friend and I tried to treat each other as we would want to be treated. I think one of the big problems was that we wanted to be treated in different ways. I was looking for a type of authenticity she was convinced that I did not really want, and she certainly did not want. Be that as it may, with Ranee and Suzie and Miss L, I feel a connection that comes naturally. I don't feel like I have to figure out how to be someone other than Siouxsie. They all seem to like Siouxsie just fine. True, we haven't been friends for 17 years yet, but I have hope that we *could* be long-term friends, and that we *will* be. So here's to you -- Ranee, Suzie, Randi -- and all of you wonderful people I don't know yet. Thank you for being a friend! (Who hears Leo Sayer singing that line!?! - you and I can be friends, too!)

PS. There are many others I am privileged to call friend -- you know who you are! Love you all!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hey Y'all!

Tonight you get blog post without clever illustration. Typing with one finger on my iPad plus it doesn't look like I can upload photos from my iPad to my blog. So, use your imagination.

Have freed up other hand so now typing with two fingers.

Anyway, it's been a quiet week in my hometown. The flu which was roaring through our home targeted me specifically on Tues evening, Wednesday all the lifelong day, Thursday, and by Friday things were finally getting back to normal for me, but now Kepler was full-on feeling quite puny with upper respiratory goings-on. Trip to the doctor Saturday morning after rough nig Friday night.

Our little home has always mystified us in some ways. Specifically, we wonder and marvel at decisions that the builder made. Even in 1957, some of these decisions seem crazy! Who puts the light switch BEHIND THE DOOR? They do! Who wires the electricity crazier than a loon? They do! And so on!

Anyway, one of our hobbies for the past 11 years has been to figure out how in the world to use the space in this house. There have been several remodeling projects which have improved things but the layout and room size have always been challenging. Many homes I walk into these days seem to have space, and more space, and the public space is way separated from the private space. Not here! Walk in our front door and you're pretty much in the heart of family life right away. I have gotten used to that and have realized that of the people who come here, 99.8% of them could care less about cluttered counters and a giant pile of shoes by the front door. Indeed, I do want guests to feel loved and cared for here. (just had Deja vu when I typed that -- maybe I have mentioned that before.)

But, as the kids have gotten bigger, these rooms have shrunk. The dining "room" was the trickiest. Only a few feet larger than the table, and a major, thoroughfare, we've had to scoot around the table M.A.N.Y. times. Can be tricky at night In the dark. But Greg had brainstorm today which we carried out. I should add that I had also had part of this idea previously, but his rendition was more complete.

You know those Homearama houses that have every special touch you could ever want? I like those houses. It would be entirely too boring for me to tell you about all the "special" touches the builders put in here. But I have noticed them! And we have addressed many of them.

When we moved in, the dining room had gold carpet, and a couple of short walls which were topped by these planter things which the previous homeowner had adorned with plastic flowers. To each his own, of course, but in short order we had removed the flowers, planters, and soon after, the short walls. Left to wonder how they managed to make the wall crooked, we painted and caulked and drew the eye ceiling ward so as not to notice how the wall and baseboard slanted outward at one point. We put doors on the kitchen doorway to put some noise boundaries between the dishwasher and small group meetings. We took down the wall of mirrors, and just shook our head at the floor of the coat closet (tall enough, but the floor had been built up. On a slant. So stupid.

And now? You'd never even know that was supposed to be a dining room. It just looks like you walk into a lovely, large living room when you come in the front door. So come on over and see the new arrangement! We'd love to see you!